Legislation proposal ensures long-term community service for safety net hospitals

A new bill proposal aims to make sure that safety net hospitals, like those under the NYCHealth + Hospitals umbrella, can sustain themselves to be able to provide access to communities in the long term.  
Christopher Roker, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, says the public hospital system stepped up to the plate during the pandemic to care for the entire city, and they’re now a part of the New York Safety Net Hospital Coalition asking for sustained help from the governor.  
“This is the hub of the community and if this hub is not here, where are they going to go?” said Roker. “Health equity is it, we have to get those dollars so that we can perform and continue to perform high quality care."
New York state Sen. Gustavo Rivera proposed the Health Equity Stabilization and Transformation Act, which would change the way safety net hospitals are reimbursed for Medicaid patients. Most currently get around 75% back for what they bill, but the act would mandate they get repaid equally for Medicaid and commercial insurance patients.  
"You have the reimbursement rate for Medicaid so below what goes for private pay, you have institutions that serve very vulnerable populations and do so at a loss every time somebody walks in the door,” said Rivera.  
Gov. Kathy Hochul's office did not comment directly on the bill but said that the proposed 2024 budget would make investments to make New York more affordable, livable, and safer.
The budget’s approval deadline is April 1, but is expected to be pushed back.